The Honors Program

"Honors" and "High Honors"

The Honors Program in Economics provides qualified students with several different pathways to graduating with 'Honors in Economics' or with 'High Honors in Economics,' each of which are outlined below. 

To be eligible for the Program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in courses counting toward the major (excluding ECON 1, ECON 10, and MATH 3), and an overall grade point average of at least 3.0.  Additionally, in order to be eligible for 'High Honors,' a student must take ten major courses (beyond prerequisites), rather than just the nine courses required for a standard or 'Honors' major.

Majors enrolled in a 60-level course or in ECON 80 or ECON 82 ("80-level") whose research papers for that course are deemed of exceptional merit by the instructor, and who are otherwise eligible for the Program, shall be granted 'Honors in Economics" with no additional coursework necessary. No more than two students per section may be granted 'Honors' in this way without a vote of the department. Students may subsequently enroll in ECON 87 and extend their research from the 60 or 80-level course in order to be eligible for 'High Honors.' Failure to enroll in or to complete ECON 87 will not forfeit the original 'Honors' designation.  Additional students meeting requirements for the Program whose major paper in their 60 or 80-level course is considered to have excellent potential to develop further into a thesis may also be invited to enroll in ECON 87 to become eligible for either 'Honors' or 'High Honors.'

An additional method of earning 'Honors' is to complete the ECON 80-81-82 sequence with an average grade of B+ and having received a grade of A- or better in each of the prerequisite classes (i.e. ECON 20, ECON 21 and ECON 22). The instructors of this sequence may additionally recommend that students who have done such outstanding work in these courses that it would achieve the 'Honors' designation by the method described above be granted 'High Honors' by vote of the Department,  provided the student has completed ten major courses (beyond prerequisites).

A final, more traditional method of achieving 'Honors' or 'High Honors' is by initiating a research project in ECON 85 and then writing an Honors thesis (ECON 87) in the senior year. Prior to enrolling in ECON 85 or ECON 87, the student must have the written approval of the vice chair and of a faculty member in the economics department who is willing to act as an adviser. The adviser would usually be a professor whose own research interests lie in the area in which the student wants to work.  Students following this path will be expected to have taken all courses relevant to their topic prior to enrollment in ECON 85.

Both regular majors and modified majors who wish to enroll in ECON 87 will be expected to have taken all courses relevant to their topic prior to enrollment. For those enrolling in ECON 87, an average grade of B+ (3.33) or better in ECON 85 and ECON 87, or the 60-level course and 87 for that approach to developing the Honors thesis, will entitle the student to graduate with 'Honors in Economics.' A vote of the Department is necessary to achieve 'High Honors in Economics,' along with one additional major course beyond those required for the standard or 'Honors' major. The Department will consider the student's performance on the thesis and his or her record in Economics courses in awarding 'High Honors.'

Honors Recipients 2022 - 2023

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • Maria P. Castro 
  • John C. Ejiogu 
    "Electoral Malpractice in Nigerian Presidential Elections: Evaluating the Role of the State Governors and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)."(Advisors Andrew Levin and Diego Ramos-Toro)
  • Sophia M. He 
  • Mitchell Jubeir 
  • Lewis J. MacMillan
    "California Carbon Credits: Exploration of Impacts Upon Corporate Stock Returns." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote) 
  • John S. Petrich 
  • Liam R. Prevelige

Graduating with High Honors in Economics

  • Brendan M. Balthis
     "The Impact of Imports on Local and Household Health Outcomes in the U.S." (Advisors Treb Allen and Leila Agha)
  • Catriona E. Farquharson 
    "Covid-19 Eviction Moratoria and the Rental Market." (Advisor James Feyrer)
  • Viola M. Gatti Roaf​​​​​​​
    "Leave Room for Jesus: The Effect of State-Level Abstinence Policies on Teen Sexual Behavior." (Advisor Elizabeth Cascio)
  • Kira N. Hobson
    "The Effect of Primary Schooling on Parent Labor Supply." (Advisors Douglas Staiger and Elizabeth Cascio)
  • Kuzi Mahwire
    "Redefining School Incentives in the Wake of Informality: How COVID-19 Induced Changes in Informality Reshaped Education in South Africa." (Advisor Eric Edmonds)
  • Soham Maiti
    "Understanding How Geography Shapes the Evolution of Countries' Comparative Advantages." (Advisor Treb Allen)
  • Ashwini Narayanan ​​​​​​​
    "Missing Vaccines: Gender Disparities in India's Neonatal Immunizations over COVID-19." (Advisors Bruce Sacerdote, Paul Novosad and Claudia Olivetti)
  • Bror Magnus S. Sand
    "Green is Good: ESG and Stock Sensitivity to Interest Rates." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote) 
  • Jackson D. Spurling
    "Decoding Labor Market Slack: The Impact of Underemployment, Non-Employment, and Inactivity on U.S. Wage Formation in the Post-Recession Era." (Advisor David Blanchflower) 
  • Nicholas Y. Taborsky
    "The Predictive Power of Investment Syndicate Composition on Exit Outcomes for Venture-Backed Companies." (Advisor Eric Zitzewitz) 
  • Genghe Zhu​​​​​​​
    "Evaluating the Pollution Haven Hypothesis." (Advisor James Feyrer)

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  • Brendan M. Balthis
  • Catriona E. Farquharson
  • Kira N. Hobson
  • Jackson D. Spurling

Nelson A. Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  • Catriona E. Farquharson
  • Kira N. Hobson

Economics Department Service and Leadership Award

  • Alex N. van Schalkwyk
  • Genghe Zhu

Honors Recipients 2021 - 2022

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • Nicholas A. Awertschenko
  • Joseph B. Hardwicke
  • Aaron L. Lee
  • Je Hoon Lee
  • Rohith Mandavilli
    "Investigating the Market Response to Corporate Scandal Characteristics Prior to Announcement." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)
  • Dhaivat M. Mehta
  • Ranjan S. Sehgal
    "Real Estate in the Era of COVID-19." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)
  • Ben Vagle
  • Alex Z. Wang
    "Seal the Deal? Analyzing the Effect of Mergers and Acquisitions on Acquiring Firm Performance." (Advisors Bruce Sacerdote and Eric Zitzewitz)

Graduating with High Honors in Economics (Thesis and Advisors)

  • Winston L. Chen
    "Railroads and Entrepot: A New Approach to the Development of the 19th Century United States." (Advisor Treb Allen)
  • Alexander J. Ginnis
    "Individual, Peer and Exogenous Effects in Ski Racing Success and Persistence." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)
  • Pranit Gupta
    "Impact of Trade Liberalization on Female Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from India." (Advisor Treb Allen)
  • Archita N. Harathi
    "Does Money Move? The Effect of Desegregation Order Dismissals on School Resource Disparities." (Advisor Douglas Staiger)
  • Yangyang Li
    "One and Done? Evidence of Gender and Racial Tokenization on Corporate Boards." (Advisor Douglas Staiger)
  • Hugh A. McKenzie
    "Examining the Coevolution of National Income and Population Health Using Bivariate Markov Transition Models, 1970 to 2019." (Advisor Andrew Levin)
  • Claire T. McMahon
    "IUDs to Degrees: The Impact of Access to Contraceptives on High School Graduation Rates." (Advisor Elizabeth Cascio)
  • Shawdi Mehrvarzan
    "Can Trade Policy be Gendered? Assessing the Effect of Shared Gender of Heads of State on Bilateral Trade Flows." (Advisor Treb Allen)
  • Ethan Y. Moon
    "Do Corporate Boards Actually Matter? Evidence From the S&P 1500." (Advisors Andrew Levin and Douglas Staiger)
  • Nathan J. Pucci
    "What's Driving the COVID-19 Slide? The Impact of Pandemic-Induced School Disruptions on English Language Learners in Massachusetts Public Schools." (Advisors Elizabeth Cascio and Melinda Petre)
  • Arthur H. Raines
    "The Impact of Fluctuations in the Price of Gold on Education in Tanzania." (Advisor Eric Edmonds)
  • Gayeong Song
    "How Do Scope of Practice Changes Impact the Nurse Practitioner Labor Market?" (Advisor Douglas Staiger)
  • Arjun Srinivasan
    "Does Money Move? The Effect of Desegregation Order Dismissals on School Resource Disparities." (Advisor Douglas Staiger)
  • Rine Uhm
    "Subjective Well-Being and Aggregate Unemployment Across Welfare States: Evidence from the Gallup U.S. Poll." (Advisor James Feyrer)

Nelson A Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  • Archita N. Harathi

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  • Pranit Gupta

  • Archita N. Harathi

  • Claire T. McMahon

  • Arjun Srinivasan

Economics Department Service and Leadership Award

  • Mothibi W. Penn-Kekana

  • Jenique R. Richards

Honors Recipients 2020 - 2021

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • Ayan Agarwal

  • Nicholas A. Awertschenko

  • Katherine G. Cane

  • Bruna Decerega

  • Rijul Garg

  • Paul Jeon

  • Arvin I. Kumaran,
    "A Game of Cat and Mouse: An Analysis of Shareholder Activism and Takeover Defense Strategies." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Henry Y. Liu

  • Jonathan J. Liu

  • Amanda C. Lu

  • Caroline L. Sernett

Graduating with High Honors in Economics (Thesis and Advisors)

  • Steven A. Adelberg,
    "Identifying Risk Factors Created By COVID-19 CMBS Markets." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Emily A. Bjorkman,
    "Playing the Blame Game: Teachers Unions and K-12 School Reopenings in the 2020-2021 Academic Year." (Advisor James Feyrer)

  • Catalina A. Garcia Valenzuela,
    "Women in Undergraduate Economics: The Importance of Instructor's Gender and Grades." (Advisor Elizabeth Cascio)

  • Samantha J. Goncalves,
    "The Impact of COVID-19 Related Export Restrictions Imposed Against the United States on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Prices." (Advisor Nina Pavcnik)

  • Amy Hu,
    "Does Earned Wage Access Reduce Payday Lending?" (Advisor Douglas Staiger)

  • Kira S. Koehler,
    "Paychecks for Public Companies?  An Econometric Analysis of Public Firm Borrowers of the Paycheck Protection Program." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Arun P. Maganti,
    "Does Community-Driven Development Make a Difference?  Evidence from the KALAHI-CIDSS Program." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Michael W. Nachman,
    "The Cyclicality of Income and Infant Mortality." (Advisor Eric Edmonds)

  • Rachna R. Shah,
    "How Do Sanctions Impact Nursing Homes?" (Advisor Douglas Staiger)

  • Cindy L. Shen,
    "Do Insurance Policies Increase Incentives to Innovate? A Look at Medicare Part D's Effects on Drug Patenting Activity." (Advisor Jonathan Skinner)

  • Sophia A. Stone,
    "How Sustainable is an Annual Report? Quantifying ESG Disclosure in 10K and Proxy Statements." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Benjamin H. Sugerman,
    "A "Shecession"? Evaluating the Heterogeneous Impact of the Coronavirus Shock on the Female Labor Force." (Advisor Patricia Anderson)

  • Rahul Wunsch,
    "Jobs and the Economy: A Medium-Term Evaluation of the Refugee Crisis in Germany." (Advisor James Feyrer)

Nelson A Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  • Emily A. Bjorkman

  • Michael W. Nachman

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  • Catalina A. Garcia Valenzuela

  • Amy Hu

Economics Department Service and Leadership Award

  • Emily A. Bjorkman

  • Jonathan J. Liu

Honors Recipients 2019 - 2020

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • William F. Chisholm III

  • Ivo Erben

  • Abby E. Meyers

  • Brandon N. Nye

  • Samuel A. Wilson

Graduating with High Honors in Economics (Thesis and Advisors)

  • John A. Caramichael
    "Sentiment Analysis for Understanding News Media, Stock Price Movements and Efficiency Theory." (Advisors Bruce Sacerdote and Christopher Snyder)

  • Albert A. Chen
    "Should I Stay or Should I Go?: The Role of Option Value in Trade Shock Adjustment." (Advisor Treb Allen)

  • Elena A. Doty
    "NAEP Scores and Long Run Economic Outcomes." (Advisor Douglas Staiger)

  • Yifan He
    "The Next Big Trade Deal: The Impact of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area on Global and Regional Trade Flows, 1994-2018." (Advisor Nina Pavcnik)

  • Marc Sevastopoulo
    "Do Some Sponsors Know Better than Others in Public Equities Market? Explaining the Superior Performance of Growth Capital-Backed IPOs, 1980-2017." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Nitya L. Thakore
    "The Quiet Revolution: Quantifying Patterns of Development with Markov Switching Models 1973-2017." (Advisor Andrew Levin)

  • Ian J. Van Hoek
    "US Senators' Trading Portfolios: Measuring the Impact of the STOCK Act." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Alexis R. Vannett
    "Attempting the Impossible: Tracking, Measuring and Analyzing the Spread and Impact of COVID-19 in Real Time." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Daniel S. Warpecha
    "Do Credit Rating Downgrades Result in Undervaluation? A Closer Look at High-Yield and Distressed Bonds." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Michelle Y. Wu
    "The Impact of Insider and Institutional Ownership on Firm Innovation and Returns." (Advisor Bruce Sacerdote)

Nelson A Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  • Albert A. Chen

  • Nitya L. Thakore

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  • Albert A. Chen

  • Yifan He

  • Nitya L. Thakore

Honors Recipients 2018-2019

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • Michael Bodek

  • Hanting Guo

  • Vibhor Khanna

  • Ruoni Wang

Graduating with High Honors in Economics (Thesis and Advisors)

  • Muhammad A. Ahsan
    "Age of Exposure, Spatial Spillovers, and the Nepali Civil War: Understanding the Effects of Violence Exposure on the Educational Outcomes of Children."(Advisor: Eric Edmonds)

  • Se Hyuk (Solomon) Bang
    ​"The Effect of Heat on Productivity: Evidence from Bangladeshi Textile Factory." (Advisor: James Feyrer)

  • Peter J. Choi
    "Benefitting from the EITC without Using It: The Long Term Effects of Childhood EITC Exposure on Adult Health." (Advisor: Elizabeth Cascio)

  • Brian S. Curran​
    "The Long-Run Effects of School Accountability Laws." (Advisor: Douglas Staiger)

  • John A. Fitz-Henley II
    "Echoes of an Epidemic: Effects of Youth Exposure to the Crack Cocaine Epidemic on Adult Outcomes." (Advisor: Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Matthew J. Hayes
    "Do Legal Homeless Camps Bring Crime into Neighborhoods? Evidence from Seattle." (Advisor: Douglas Staiger)

  • Yihang (Genna) Liu
    "Examining the Effect of DACA on Geographic Mobility." (Advisor: Ethan Lewis)

  • Alex Z. Magnuson
    "The Impact of System Affiliation on Product Differentiation in Hospitals." (Advisor: Douglas Staiger)

  • Katherine C. McCreery
    "Economic Determinants of Immigration Attitude: Evidence from the European Refugee Crisis." (Advisor: Nina Pavcnik)

  • Madison C. Minsk
    "Ties that Bind During Times of Crisis: Financial Linkages and Sovereign Default Risk." (Advisor James Feyrer)

  • Nalini A. Ramanathan
    "Labor Effects of Exporting Offshorable Business Services in the United States." (Advisor: Treb Allen)

  • James R. Schenck, Jr.
    "Bad Company?: Market Reactions to Securities Class Action Filings." (Advisor: Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Amanda K. Sload

  • Briana M. Tang
    "Do Legal Homeless Camps Bring Crime into Neighborhoods? Evidence from Seattle.." (Advisor: Douglas Staiger)

  • Richard J. Yang
    "Assessment of the SEC Tick Size Pilot Program and Transaction Costs on Market Efficiency." (Advisor: Eric Zitzewitz)

Nelson A Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  •     Amanda K. Sload
  •     Briana Tang

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  •     Matthew Hayes
  •     Briana Tang

Honors Recipients 2017-2018

Graduating with Honors in Economics

  • Rachel E. Citera

  • Jonah H. Kelly

  • Hung D. Nguyen

  • Joshua A. Ufland

  • Jiarui Wang

Graduating with High Honors in Economics (Thesis and Advisors)

  • Andrew W. Blackwell
    "More Companies are Staying Private: Are They Better Off As a Result?" (Advisor: Bruce Sacerdote)

  • Helen M. Gu
    ​"The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Opioid Utilization: Evidence from Medicare Part D Implementation." (Advisor: Elizabeth Cascio)

  • David P. Herrera
    "The Changing Burden of Malaria: Assessing Our Progress in the Era of Interventions." (Advisor: James Feyrer)

  • Akhila J. Kovvuri
    "Rural Workfare and Consumption Smoothing in India: Role of NREGS as Insurance against Rainfall Shocks." (Advisor: Elizabeth Cascio)

  • Luqman I. Sumartono​
    "Health Insurance Reform in Indonesia: Expanding Insurance Coverage, Implementing a Single-Payer System, and Improving Healthcare Equity." (Advisor: Douglas Staiger)

Lewis H. Haney Prize (Outstanding Honors Thesis)

  • Akhila J. Kovvuri

Nelson A. Rockefeller Prize (Best Performance in the Major)

  • Akhila J. Kovvuri